Scotland's Minister for Higher Education has decried the visa policy of the Home Office, calling it flawed and embarrassing. These policies which deny academics visas at random according to him are putting the reputation of colleges and universities in Scotland in jeopardy. Academics in various Scottish universities have complained that the Home Office keeps denying the visa application of visiting academics who want to participate in partnership research meetings, trips and conferences in the UK even when they have presented all required evidence and met all the criteria. The visa refusal affects Ph.D. students and interns on a funded program. There are also leading academics who are working jointly on research projects caught in the visa denial wave as well. The visa denial agenda is majorly affecting academics from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America. There were 17 professionals who were last week, denied visas to attend the European Conference on African Studies held in Edinburgh University. Richard Lochhead, the Scottish Higher Education Minister, had based on all this, said that Scotland should have its own migration policy. Professor Dan Hayden, who is a director at the Glasgow Center for International Development, condemned this visa strategy of the government, calling it a deeply confused strategy. According to him, they now advise researchers who have plans to host any academic meetings in the UK to consider holding them in an outside location. Alison Phillips, a professor of languages and intercultural studies at Glasgow University lent her voice to the visa menace, saying that she was one of the increasing a number of academics in Scotland who held routine meetings and conferences outside the UK so as not to waste money on denied visa applications and flight tickets.
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